Jonah Byrde (Ozark, 2017-2022 with Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Sofia Hubiltz, Julia Garner, and Skylar Gaertner as Jonah) Summary (from Netflix): The Byrdes and their teenage kids, Charlotte and Jonah, are, for all intents and purposes, an ordinary family with ordinary lives. Except for the job of Marty, a Chicago financial advisor who also serves as the top money launderer for the second largest drug cartel in Mexico. When things go awry, Marty must uproot his family from the skyscrapers of Chicago and relocate to the lazy lake region of the Missouri Ozarks. Hero– Jonah Byrde (Skylar Gaertner). He’s smart, quiet, introverted. Approximately 11 years old. Ordinary World— Jonah is approximately 11 years old in season one. He’s an ordinary kid living with his parents and sister, Charlotte, in Chicago. Call to Adventure– Jonah’s parents tell the kids they will be moving to the Ozarks. This is the first hint to Jonah that his life may be changing. Refusal of Call– Jonah (and …

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The Hero’s Journey: Top Gun (1986), with Tom Cruise, Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt, TJ Cassidy, Val Kilmer, Kelly McGillis Hero– Maverick (Pete Mitchell) Ordinary World– Maverick is a gifted Navy fighter pilot who doesn’t follow the rules. Goose is his RIO. During a flight, they encounter two MiG-28s. Cougar, the pilot in another place, freezes. Maverick performs a risky inverted maneuver to help Cougar.  They are all low on fuel. Maverick is just about to land safely on the carrier when he breaks protocol and directly disobeys orders in order to help Cougar and his RIO land.  Call to Adventure– Maverick and Cougar are the two top pilots. There is a chance to go to compete for Top Gun, which is the best of the best. Refusal of Call– This comes in the form of TJ Cassidy not wanting Maverick to be the one to go to Top Gun. He thinks Maverick is too much of a liability. Meeting the Mentor– Goose acts as mentor …

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We read to escape, and when we read, we put ourselves into the roles of the characters we’re reading about. In a sense, we become them. This is why it is so important for hero characters to be relatable in some way. It’s hard to connect with characters who are not likable. In short, we can’t realistically insert ourselves into the stories and become those characters in our imaginations. Let’s look at the idea of Larger than Life characters. By definition, these people are perceived as bigger, better, more powerful, more magnetic, having more gravitas, and generally being loved, admired, feared, respected to a greater degree than the normal person. When you create your characters, particularly a ‘hero’ character, don’t set out with the intention of creating a Larger than Life character. By doing that, you’re creating a caricature of what you perceive to a Larger than Life character to be. You may end up creating a Superhero or Supervillain. …

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Have you heard of the hero’s journey? It’s at the core of the mythic structure. It basically goes like this: Hero lives in the ORDINARY WORLD CALL TO ADVENTURE REFUSAL OF THE CALL MEETING OF THE MENTOR CROSSING THE THRESHOLD (to some magical or new world, which is entering the (6) ROAD of TRIALS). At this point, there is no return. The hero faces TESTS, ALLIES, & ENEMIES The APPROACH TO THE INMOST CAVE s a huge test for the hero. There are setbacks, but the hero grows stronger as a result. The CENTRAL ORDEAL is the second major turning point. It is a win for the hero. REWARD Whatever the hero has been after has been ostensibly won. THE ROAD BACK The hero has succeeded in the journey (or so he/she thinks) and heads back toward the ordinary world. RESURRECTION is the CLIMAX. The Central Ordeal was a false win. THIS is the true test of the hero’s mettle. This is the moment when …

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Movie: A Knight’s Tale, starring Heath Ledger, Paul Bettany, and Rufus Sewel Hero– Will Thatcher Ordinary World– Will is a peasant squire. The opening scene, his master has just died. Call to Adventure– Will Thatcher wants to better his station in the world. His Call to Adventure is initiated by him. Refusal of Call– Despite Will’s desire to change his stars, he can’t realistically do this because you are born into nobility…and he was not. This is the refusal, thrust upon him by circumstances. Meeting mentor– Will Thatcher meets Geoffrey Chaucer, played by Paul Bettany. Chaucer gives Will vital information and guides him in his ruse.  Crossing the Threshold– Will literally crosses the threshold into the new world when he is accepted into the first jousting competition. Before that, he’s just trying on his new identity. It is when Chaucer (who is also an ally) helps him with his papers that he ‘becomes’ this new person. Tests and Allies– Will …

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Writers, writers! This is an awesome giveaway opportunity. If you want to learn craft, a want to hone your skills, or if you have a hankering to get more specific about the ins and outs of a cozy mystery, enter to win enrollment into either 30 Days to Craft Your Novel, Field Guide to Writing a Cozy Mystery, or three (3) 1:1 coaching sessions! The link to the Rafflecopter: ⬇️ https://bit.ly/39bXT9J

The Hero’s Journey is a passion of mine. From the time I first read about it, I was interested. Once I started studying it, I became more and more fascinated by its storytelling power.  The hero is an archetypal character and his or her journey full of archetypal moments which, ultimately, offer reader (or viewer, as The Hero’s Journey is widely used in Hollywood films) satisfaction. Why is The Hero’s Journey so compelling? It comes down to the transformation of an ordinary person into a hero. We–humans–respond to this because we can put ourselves into the role and see the potential we all have to be heroic. All cultures and individuals make sense of the world they live in by telling stories. The hero’s journey tells us who we are, and what destinies we are here to fulfill. Read WriterSpark’s Overview of The Hero’s Journey to understand the 12 steps. This database breaks down books and movies into those 12 …

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WriterSpark’s new course, Field Guide to Writing a Cozy Mystery, is live! If you’ve wanted to write a cozy mystery but haven’t quite known where to start, this online class if for you! The course allows you to work at your own pace as you create a hook, develop your series setting, create your sleuth, victim, villain, supporting cast, and suspect pool. From there, you will craft the crime, the clues and red herrings, and map everything out on a cozy template. When you are finished, you will have the genre knowledge you need to write a competitive cozy mystery, and you will have the confidence to do it well. What you get in this course: 10 modules 28 videos with instruction and examples 44 Infographics and Activity Handouts (also available in workbook format) This course has everything you need to move forward and write the cozy mystery you’ve been wanting to write.  Take your dream of writing a cozy …

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I’ve been hearing a lot about Imposter Syndrome lately. It comes down to a person not believing they deserve what they’ve achieved, or that they aren’t due the accolades coming their way. They feel like they somehow haven’t earned their achievements or the praise of others or the respect people show them. They believe they are imposters. Instead of believing they’ve earned their position, praise, or success, they consider it good luck or chalk it up to being in the right place at the right time. Take a second and ask yourself if you’ve felt this way in the past, or if you’re experiencing it now in connection with your writing? If you’re suffering from imposter syndrome in your writing life, I’m here to encourage you to let it go! The best way to do that is to shift your mindset. Start by making a list of all your skills. Acknowledge your strengths, your accomplishments, and all the positives you …

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